Lawyer in Titusville
Injured due to a careless driver? We'll help you hold them accountable.
Titusville, Florida, has a well-documented problem with pedestrian safety. Smart Growth America identified the Titusville metropolitan region as the nation’s ninth deadliest area for pedestrians in 2019. In fact, nine out of the 20 deadliest cities for pedestrians are located in Florida. Although many issues contribute to this problem, accidents often happen because of distracted, intoxicated, or reckless drivers. A Titusville pedestrian accident attorney can evaluate your accident case and inform you about legal options for recovering financial damages.
Sources of liability
The most common pedestrian accident involves a person getting hit by a motor vehicle. Drivers have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid striking people. When they fail to do so, their negligence exposes them to liability for the financial losses of victims.
A driver’s negligence may be demonstrated by:
- texting while driving
- disobeying traffic signals
- forgetting to use the turn signal
- failing to yield at a crosswalk
- using alcohol or drugs
Not all pedestrian accidents occur due to driver error. A property owner or government responsible for the sidewalk where a person is hurt could be responsible. Pedestrian accidents not attributed to drivers enter the legal category of premises liability. For example, a broken sidewalk or curb that causes someone to fall could place liability on the local road authority.
The owner of a building that is under construction or being remodeled could injure pedestrians if precautions are not taken. For example, materials falling from a scaffold and striking a person on the sidewalk represent a pedestrian accident caused by a building owner or contractor.
How to get compensation after a pedestrian accident
If you are a licensed driver and have an automobile insurance policy, a personal injury claim on your own policy could be an appropriate path to take. The no-fault insurance rules in Florida require that you have an auto insurance policy with Personal Injury Protection (PIP). You policy will have at least $10,000 in PIP coverage available. Your right to this compensation does not rely on proving fault or negligence. PIP could cover your medical bills and lost income up to coverage limits.
Even if you do not own a car, a family member’s policy might include you. An accident lawyer could research this possibility for you.
When an at-fault driver was responsible for your injuries, you could make a claim on that person’s insurance. The no-fault coverage portion of the policy could pay for at least $10,000 in damages.
However, your injury expenses could exceed what a policy provides because many drivers only carry the minimum amount of PIP. A lawsuit to pursue a higher settlement may be necessary to collect funds to pay for the treatment of serious injuries.
Common pedestrian injuries
Your physical vulnerability as a pedestrian makes severe or life-threatening injures very possible when hit by a vehicle. Even a compact passenger vehicle weighs nearly 3,000 pounds.
Pedestrians frequently suffer:
- traumatic brain injuries
- pelvic injuries
- internal organ damage
- fractured bones
Serious injuries will require a long and sometimes difficult recovery. You may need rehabilitation services to regain mobility. Prolonged rehabilitation will add to your lost income and medical expenses.
Pedestrian accidents also introduce the possibility of lifelong disability. Victims of traumatic brain injuries sometimes have persistent headaches, memory loss, mood disorders, and cognitive difficulty. A damaged spine or broken pelvis could rob you of the ability to walk or live without pain.
Groups most at risk for pedestrian accidents
The CDC has determined that close to half, or 47 percent, of pedestrian fatalities happen because a driver or pedestrian had been consuming alcohol. Aside from intoxication, age is a recurring factor in many of these accidents. People 65 and older represent 20 percent of pedestrian deaths.
Very young children are at a heightened risk as well because they are too young to understand roadway risks. Streets with higher speed limits or that have many parked cars enhance the danger for children.
Overall, the majority of pedestrian deaths happen in cities and towns, usually away from an intersection. Nighttime hours also increase accidents due to bad visibility.
Florida personal injury law operates under the concept of comparative negligence. This means that your actions leading up to the accident might be compared to the actions taken by the driver who hit you. If evidence shows that you were partially to blame for what happened, the law would authorize the reduction of your compensation by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
Pedestrians have a duty to exercise reasonable care, which would include using crosswalks and following crosswalk signals. An insurer might try to use a distracted walker defense against your claim if you had your mobile phone out when the accident occurred. You might be accused of looking at your phone instead of monitoring traffic.
At times, pedestrian accidents involve people who walk out into traffic. A fatal pedestrian accident that happened in Titusville on the Dale Mabry Highway appeared to involve a 39-year-old woman from out of town stepping out in front of a vehicle according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Accidents under circumstances like this might invite arguments that try to reduce compensation on the grounds of comparative negligence.
Even so, the law still largely favors injured pedestrians. Drivers typically cannot avoid all of the blame for hitting people on foot. Should your accident have any controversial aspects, an attorney can strive to protect your interests if the opposing party wants to shift some fault onto you.
Personalized legal advice
At Couture Law P.A., we understand that your accident may have thrown you into unfamiliar legal, insurance, and medical bureaucracies. We can investigate your legal position and chart a path toward the compensation that you need. An insurance company is not your best source of information about your rights or available compensation. Knowledgeable legal representation can inform you about personal injury law. Contact us today and schedule an appointment at our office in Titusville.